My experience with

October 27, 2013 at 10:26 pm 2 comments

A few months ago, I read a quick review of a service that promises to save you money on your monthly bills.  The cost?  50% of your savings for the length of the deal, or 1 year if it’s a permanent deal.  If you pay up front (instead of every month), you’ll save another 10% off their fee (making it more like 45% of the savings).  This sounds expensive, but if you do nothing, you are paying much more!  If they can’t save you anything, you pay nothing.  What have you got to lose, right?

This smells a bit funny

I know, this sounds like the perfect cover to scam enough info to steal someone’s identity, right?  I looked around a bit before signing up with them, and everything I read pointed to them being completely legitimate.

From my day-to-day business experience (working in Networking), I do know that businesses hire consultants to look over their bills to ensure that they are being billed properly, and to find opportunities to lower their on-going expenses.  So, there is a history of these sorts of services existing, but I think is just the consumer version of this service.  From that perspective, it’s a groundbreaking service.

But how can they save me money?

They do this every day.  They deal with all the major service providers.  Perhaps most importantly, they are used to negotiating for these services.  When you call up, you have all of your past experience to draw upon to negotiate your best deal.  For most people, that’s not a lot to draw on. For them, it’s quite a lot!

And since they are already doing this for others, they know the kind of deals they’ve been able to negotiate with each company before, so they can try to get the same (or better) deal for you.

Can’t I just do this myself & save all the money?

Perhaps you can.  I thought I could at least save a little.

I’m a tough customer on the savings front.  By that, I mean that I don’t have high-end plans, so there is probably not a lot of fat to trim.  The two bills I wanted to cut with were my cell phone bill and my cable bill.  My cell phone bill already has a 23% discount because of the company I work for, and I have the lowest-end family plan they offered, so I figured it would be tough to save any dough there.  My cable bill is pretty low.  I have the “poverty” level TV plan (just the local channels, plus C-Span, shopping networks, etc.) bundled with the 40 Mbps Internet package.  In honesty, I have the TV service (no TVs are attached) because it was cheaper to get it than to just get the Internet.

Before letting BillCutterz at it, I contacted Comcast to see if there was anything they would do for me, as I thought I’d have the easiest time getting a discount from them.  I mentioned AT&T’s U-Verse service that is also in my area, but the person at Comcast offered me nothing.  Not even promo offers.  They must not have thought that I was ready to cancel, as they didn’t even offer to send me to a retention specialist.  Perhaps you have to tell actually them you are cancelling to get anything done, but I didn’t go that far.

So, I failed.  What about BillCutterz?

Back in August, I let BillCutterz try their thing…

For AT&T, they couldn’t get them to come off the monthly price, but they did give me a one-time $100 credit.

For Comcast, they couldn’t get them to budge either.  They did get a one-time $10 credit from them, though, so that’s something at least.

I saved $110, and paid them $47.02, after the discount (making my real savings about $63).  Although they didn’t save me money over the entire year, they did save me money and it was all front-loaded, so I got the savings right away.

Round 2

A few days ago (mid October), BillCutterz reached out to me again.  They wanted to try to renegotiate and see what else they could do for me, so I said why not.

For Comcast, they were able to switch me to a different plan that was $9.96 a month cheaper and faster to boot, at 50 Mbps.  Apparently, the plan I was on is no longer offered, but this appears to be a better plan altogether.  This is supposedly my new regular price, not a limited time promotion.  I don’t see this package on the Comcast website at all.  The closest to it is a 12 month new customer promo of 50 Mbps combined with 45 channels of TV for 54.99/month.  Of course, Comcast isn’t very up-front on their pricing on the website.  There’s not one master chart showing all the prices and all the packages, so it makes sense to me that they have special packages they don’t advertise, but are available if you know what to ask for.

For AT&T, they reviewed my usage with the AT&T rep.  I already had the lowest family plan they offered, at 550 minutes/month, and we barely use any…  Most of my calls are mobile-to-mobile, or on nights/weekends.  I have almost 4000 roll-over minutes, in fact.  Anyhow, once they realized that I didn’t use many minutes, BillCutterz contacted me to get permission to move me to a lower minute plan.  Apparently, AT&T doesn’t advertise it, but they have a 450 minute/month family plan for $10 cheaper than the 550 plan I was on.  Now, I’ve been on the 550 minute family plan for about 7 or 8 years.  When I signed up for it, I recall that it was the lowest number of minutes they offered in a family plan, but apparently, they have an undocumented 450 minute plan.  If only I could have signed up for this initially and saved that money every month for the last 8 years!

Updated 10/31:  My AT&T bill came.  With my 23% discount factored in, plus the savings because of lower taxes and fees, my final bill was $8.95 lower.  That adds up to $107.40 per year less that I’ll have to pay AT&T!


Initially, they saved me about $63 after their fee.

With this latest attempt, I expect to save about $230 over the next 12 months.  Yes, I’ll have to pay about $115 of that savings to BillCutterz, putting my savings down to about $115, but if these truly are permanent price cuts for me, each year in the future should see me saving the full $230.  I expect that they will contact me in the future to see if they can do anything else.  Since they’ve gotten these cuts for me, I’d expect the best they could do is more one-time discounts.  But I’d take them too.

My take on  They appear to be a legitimate company in a “new” field (for residential customers, at least).  While they didn’t save me the kind of money that their Savings Calculator showed, they will be saving me almost $20 a month on these two bills combined.  That’s over 10% off of what I was paying.  Being able to cut your monthly bills by any amount on a long-term basis is a good thing, since those savings just add up, year after year.

Entry filed under: General.

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